Joe Granville, a newsletter writer and technical analyst who moved stock markets with bearish calls in the 1970s and '80s, died Saturday at a hospice in Kansas City, Mo. He was 90.
His wife, Karen Granville, confirmed the death, saying the cause wasn't known.
The publisher of the Granville Market Letter since 1963, Mr. Granville predicted the Dow Jones Industrial Average's slide in 1977 to 1978 and the end to the surge in computer-related shares in 2000. He was wrong in 1982 and 1995 when he called for losses before stocks rallied.
In his forecasts, Mr. Granville used criteria such as trading and price patterns rather than more commonly analyzed economic data and earnings growth. He started developing his own stock market theories at what was then E.F. Hutton & Co., a New York City-based brokerage, from 1957 to 1963.
By 1981, Mr. Granville was influential enough to spur a market slump. That January, he sparked a 2.4 percent one-day decline in the Dow average by advising his subscribers, "Sell Everything!"
"Joe was extremely powerful a generation ago," said Robert Stovall, a global strategist at Wood Asset Management Inc. in Sarasota, Fla., who worked with Mr. Granville at E.F. Hutton. "If he gave the thumbs down to a market, it was like the emperor in the coliseum. The market would go down."
In addition to writing about stocks, Mr. Granville produced books on subjects such as stamp investing and winning at bingo.
Joseph Ensign Granville was born on Aug. 20, 1923, in Yonkers, N.Y. His father, W. Irving Granville, "lost $30,000 of his own money and at least twice as much more that he borrowed from Grandma Buck and Auntie Blanche" in the stock market crash of 1929, according to "The Book of Granville" (1984).
In 1948, he graduated from Duke University in Durham, N.C., where he studied economics. His studies were interrupted in 1945, when he joined the U.S. Navy and was sent to the Marshall Islands.
While there, he wrote "Price Predictions," a book about pricing U.S. commemorative stamps aimed at speculators. "Everybody's Guide to Stamp Investment" followed in 1952.
Mr. Granville was hired by E.F. Hutton & Co. in 1957 to write its daily stock-market letter and worked there until 1963, when he started the Granville Market Letter, a newsletter with a subscription price of $250.
Mr. Granville's main stock indicator was called on-balance volume, or OBV, which he developed.
OBV gauges a stock's momentum. If a stock rises, the day's volume will be added to a cumulative OBV figure. If the share price falls, the total will be subtracted.
Mr. Granville also followed charts that tracked investor sentiment, the number of stocks reaching 52-week highs and lows, and the daily number of advancing and declining stocks.